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Cambridge Assessment: Community, Collaboration and Creativity

Category: blog

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Written by James Digby - Group Talent Acquisition & Employer Brand Lead at Cambridge Assessment

Cambridge Assessment has moved into its brand new international headquarters - The Triangle - bringing all of its Cambridge-based staff, previously located in 11 different offices, together under one roof. In this blog post, I’ll give you an insight into our new home, the positive impacts we’re already seeing and why I think location is still so important in a digitally-connected world.

The link between health and happiness, and in turn between happiness and productivity, is well documented; if people are feeling happier in their workplace, then chances are they are less likely to feel stressed and more likely to be productive. The average UK worker spends 8,060 hours a year, and more than half of their daily daylight hours, at work. So, it stands to reason that the place, and space, we work in can have a significant impact on our outlook and wellbeing.

These concepts back up what I have seen since I, and over 1,000 other Cambridge Assessment colleagues, relocated to our new purpose-built HQ. I have definitely noticed a different energy in the new building – morale has certainly been boosted. I would go as far as to say that people seem excited, more engaged and feel a greater sense of belonging and pride in the building and the organisation. The Triangle is an impressive building, inside and out, designed with collaboration, wellbeing and sustainability in mind.

Collaboration

The light, modern, open plan nature of the office is encouraging more collaborative working, particularly among teams who were previously located at different offices. I’ve had much more face to face time with colleagues, both in formal meetings and more informally in the many break out areas and refreshment points, which is helping to nurture new, meaningful relationships. There is no individual office space and all levels of staff work side by side.

“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say “Wow” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” Steve Jobs.

Wellbeing

The British Council for Offices' recently published year-long study into health and wellbeing in offices revealed that wellness does matter, and this is one thing that our new office facilitates brilliantly. We have a Wellbeing Centre with fitness classes, mindfulness sessions and the option of a fresh smoothie (or coffee!) on the outdoor terrace, supporting both physical and mental employee wellbeing.

Sustainability

By designing a sustainable office and encouraging everyday good practice when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the environment, we hope we are making Cambridge Assessment an even more attractive place to work.

The building itself boasts green roofs, solar panels and a building design which allows a high degree of natural light and ventilation.

The ease of a sustainable transport commute will also provide huge benefits not only for the environment, but for employee health too. It’s only an eight-minute walk or a two-minute ride on the cycle path from Cambridge train station with 1325 cycle parking spaces and a drying room, lockers and showers waiting for you when you arrive. The guided bus or park & ride bus is also an option and we have a number of electric cars and bikes for staff to use if they need to travel to a meeting. 

Our future in Cambridge

The Triangle is a landmark building for Cambridge - you can see the 39.1 metre tower when approaching Cambridge from the south. It highlights the commitment to our Cambridge roots and will allow for our ambitious growth plans and vision for the future with office space to accommodate another 1000 employees by 2025.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Move Project Team and all of the Move Champions across the organisation – you have been absolutely amazing and made the relocation such a smooth and positive experience.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

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